Inspirational talks and career workshops to feature at Care Leavers’ Conference

This story was published 22 October 2021

A conference is due to take place tomorrow (Saturday, October 23) which will highlight the achievements of Care Leavers in North Yorkshire and provide advice on achieving their goals and aspirations.

Janet Sanderson

Care Leavers Can 2021 (#careleaverscan2021) is taking place in partnership with the University of York and North Yorkshire County Council. It is being run ahead of Care Leavers Week, which takes place from Monday, October 25 to October 31.

The conference will be hosted virtually by the University of York and will feature Josh MacAlister, who is leading the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care in England. He will take part in a question and answer session chaired by young care leavers.

This year’s theme is aspirations and will feature a talk by North Yorkshire care leaver Rachel Malik, who was awarded one of the most sought-after academic scholarships globally to study world economics in China.

After graduating from the University of Birmingham, Rachel studied for a Masters degree in World Economics and Chinese Economic Development in Beijing, after receiving only one of 95 scholarships awarded globally by the Chinese government. She has won numerous awards, including Undergraduate of the Year; Future Business Leader Award, and now works in international finance in London.

We currently support about 350 care leavers from the county.

Cllr Janet Sanderson, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Children and Young People’s Services, said: “We are extremely proud of our young care leavers’ achievements. Giving them the right support at the right time is a key priority for us.

“We don’t want young care leavers to be facing major milestones on their own - such as turning up to halls of residences for the first time by themselves - unless they want to.  Our teams work very hard to put support in place to give them the best possible chances in life.”

The conference will also feature workshops for young people on a range of subjects, including apprenticeship options, working for us and other employers and sessions on personal skills such as baking. The University of York will also be delivering sessions on support available for young people leaving care to attend university and the range of options available to them.

In addition to the conference, we delivering a programme of additional support to care leavers as they transition to independent living. This includes career choices and pathways, managing money, cooking on a budget, well-being, switching utility providers and reducing energy bills and household chores. All sessions will be held at The Street, a community resource in Scarborough.

Two previous care leavers have been employed as apprentice youth workers to deliver the workshops as part of the programme, which is supported by Anglo American, the global company which owns the polyhalite mining project near Whitby.

“We’re delighted to be working with North Yorkshire County Council to help them deliver this programme and we hope it will support care leavers make positive decisions about their future,” said Gareth Edmunds, Corporate Relations Director at Anglo American.